Baker’s Banter – December 2017

I know a lot of people saw the video footage of the guy getting driven into on Karioitahi Beach last week and the things leading up to that moment and the things afterwards. As an ex cop I am worried when well meaning folk try to take the law into their own hands
It might seem like the right thing to do at the time, but as we saw, it can very quickly go wrong. Modern technology video footage and identification of cars and drivers allows for the Police to follow up quite quickly.

Lack of cell phone coverage at the beach is a problem but that is fixed further up the hill on the way back to Waiuku. I met with our local Police and Council staff last week but there is no easy fix to the issues there.

We know that there can never be a constant police presence there and that idiots won’t behave like fools when the police are there. Feedback over the years is that banning vehicles and blocking access to the beach is not acceptable to the public although I have been asked if a ban on motorbikes could be considered which I think is worth pursuing as an option.
There will be greater attention by police over the summer so if you see something, report it and take steps to make yourselves safe, please don’t try to get involved as often that can escalate a situation as happened last week.

Maybe that lovely little RX7 could be parked about 30 metres below the high tide mark and the driver made to stand there, watch the tide come in then take his wreck home.
I have spent a bit of time attending rural hall committee AGMs over the past couple of months. We have a network of wonderfully maintained and managed halls across our rural villages and towns that are managed by volunteer committees.

In general the halls are in magnificent condition because of the passion and pride in them. But it is also obvious that whilst these halls were once the centre of vibrant and cohesive rural communities, things have changed.

How we live, how we interact with each other and how we use facilities like these have changed. However we are committed to supporting the committees and are grateful for their efforts.

Finally it seems in this job we can’t win. Maybe we should have just gone ahead with an undercooked sports park development in Waiuku. The collaboration between the RFC, College and Council is in my view a far better result than simply creating more poorly drained fields and some average facilities. The outcome is great and means we have better facilities available to more people. And by the way, the Local Board, as we did last time, are willing to accept people wanting to speak to submissions on the LTP. Last time there was two. Bill was right.

Have a safe, positive and happy festive season everyone.

Andy Baker – Deputy Chair
Franklin Local Board

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